With dentures you need to clean them daily just as you would with your own natural teeth or else plaque builds up on them and gradually hardens to form calcified tartar or calculus which takes up stains from foods, drinks, and smoking.
One of the positive aspects of dentures or false teeth is that you can have them made any color you like within reason, so if your own teeth were rather dingy or discolored before, you can switch to bright new ones by having your teeth removed and having dentures. You would not, of course, resort to having all your teeth extracted just for the sake of that, however, since you could undergo a professional in-surgery whitening treatment or even bleach your own teeth at home quite satisfactorily with a good home bleaching kit.
A nice new set of white false teeth doesn't necessarily stay that way for ever, since most false teeth these days are made from acrylic, which is a type of plastic and this can become porous and absorb stains over time. Porcelain teeth are much more resistant to discoloration but are more expensive and are also less forgiving in terms of the "bite" so some people find them difficult to wear if they don't have much of a gum ridge in the lower jaw to sit the denture on. The majority of dentures are made using acrylic teeth which are available in a whole range of shades and are remarkably lifelike.
With dentures you need to clean them daily just as you would with your own natural teeth or else plaque builds up on them and gradually hardens to form calcified tartar or calculus which takes up stains from foods, drinks, and smoking. You can clean dentures best by soaking them overnight in a proprietary denture cleaning solution and then giving them a brush and rinse in the morning. If you have any particularly stubborn stains then it is feasible to soak the dentures in a solution of bleach to improve their appearance. If you did this repeatedly over a long period of time it would tend to gradually remove color from both the false teeth and the artificial gum. This can be somewhat counter-productive in the long term however, because repeated soakings in bleach or an acid solution like vinegar, will tend to make the plastic more porous so that it inevitably collects stains more readily. So, provided your false teeth are the color you want in the first place it is best to keep them that way by careful daily cleansing with a proper denture hygiene product.
As dentures get more porous over time they may also absorb more of the bleach solution which isn't then totally removed by rinsing and might subsequently leach out into the mouth which could be harmful.
If you have been wearing a set of dentures for quite a while and they have accumulated calcified deposits and stains despite your efforts to clean them, then you can take them to your dentist to have them cleaned by an ultrasonic device that uses sound waves to agitate a strong cleaning solution and literally "shake" off the deposits and stains.
If you're having dentures for the first time you can specify whiter teeth but it is wise not to go too far with this since teeth that are absolutely white will look false and draw people's attention. You are much better off to follow your dentist's advice on how much lighter in shade your false teeth can be whilst still looking natural.
If you make it a habit to practice daily cleaning without using any really harsh chemicals or heavy brushing, then you should be able to prevent a build-up of stains and tartar on your dentures, especially if you can refrain from smoking and drinking too much tea or coffee. Do not scrub too hard with a nail brush across the sides of the teeth horizontally, but rather brush the teeth vertically from the gum as if they were natural teeth. This avoids too much abrasion which can otherwise occur and spoil the appearance of the dentures.
Caring for Your DenturesIt is important to clean your mouth and denture daily so your mouth will stay healthy. Soaking dentures in water or a denture cleaner is not enough. They must be brushed with a soft toothbrush or with a toothbrush made especially for dentures. Having dentures does not mean that you can ignore your oral health and hygiene. It is still important to seek dental services regularly for evaluating the soft tissues and to examine the denture for proper fit, comfort, and function. The following information is provided to educate you regarding the care of your mouth and dentures so that you will gain the maximum benefit from them.
Why should I clean my denture daily?
Daily cleaning of your denture is necessary to prevent build-up of plaque, food, calculus (tartar), and stain which can cause:
Even with full dentures, it is important to brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before you put in your dentures. The tongue can be cleaned with a tongue scraper sometimes beter than a brush. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture's metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay. If you wear a partial denture, be sure to remove it before you brush your natural teeth. Clean, rest, and massage the gums regularly. Rinsing your mouth daily with lukewarm salt water will help clean your gums. Eat a balanced diet so that proper nutrition and a healthy mouth can be maintained.
How do I keep my dentures clean?
Some people have very sensitive gums and may need a softer lining made for their dentures. If you have one of these special linings, it is important to check with your dentist before using any cleaning products or fixatives as some products can damage the lining.
What should I do if I have a temporary soft lining in my denture?
Tissue conditioning materials are indicated for very short time periods or 1 to 2 weeks. Follow the directions you are given when you receive these liners. Usually cold water rinses ONLY are indicated for these liners. The rest of the hard denture can be cleaned with a brush. If these have been in for more than 2 weeks call and make an appointment to have them removed and replaced.
Can I Microwave my dentures?
There are reports that microwaving complete dentures is effective for cleaning and disinfecting. Great care must be given for the using this technique for cleaning a denture.
Not only do your dentures need maintenance, but care also needs to be given to the tissues under your denture.
One or more follow-up appointments are generally needed soon after you receive your denture so that your oral health care provider can make any necessary adjustments. Never attempt to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Never bend any part of the clasp or metal attachments yourself; doing so can weaken the metal structure. "Do-it-yourself" repair kits can permanently damage your dentures and over-the-counter glues may contain harmful chemicals.
Dentures that don't fit properly can cause irritation and sores in your mouth and on your gums. Be sure to contact our office if your denture breaks, cracks, chips or if one of the teeth becomes loose. Many times we can make the necessary adjustment or repair on the same day. For some complicated repairs, your denture may have to be sent to a special dental laboratory for repair.
With age, the jaw bones slowly change. With time the pressure on the underlying gums and bone causes them to resorb, leaving space where there was once tissue, as the dentures stay the same. Therefore, dentures that once fit no longer do. You may need to have your dentures re-fit by relining or you may need to have a new denture made.
Come to see me for the following:
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased or remade due to normal wear, natural age-related changes to your face, jaw bones and gums, or if the dentures become loose. To reline or rebase a denture, the prosthodontist refits the denture base or makes a new denture base and reuses the existing teeth. Generally, complete dentures should be used for 5 to 7 years before a replacement is necessary.
How Often Should I See the Dentist?
A healthy mouth has clean, stable teeth. You should have an even bite, secure dentures and be free of pain. Your mouth should be comfortable when you chew and your breath should be fresh. See your dentist if you have:
Other Final Denture Information
Dr. James L. Johnson